Horrible shave. Now what?

Discussion in 'Shave Clinic & Newbie Check-In' started by Gatsby, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. I had a horrible shave this morning.
    I changed one variable from my usual setup: the blade.

    Instead of a Derby or Personna, I used one of the Merkurs from my sampler pack in my Merkur 33c.
    My face is disgusting. It looks like the floor of a meat packing plant slathering in pepperoni slices.

    Any tips/advice on how to remedy serious irritation and razor burn?
    How is it that Merkur can make a beautiful razor and such a terrible blade? Is the Merkur to blame or was it me (my lather was great, I maintained correct blade angle, and did my usual two passes with a cleanup pass)?

    This experience has left me so furious that I'm seriously thinking of ditching the DE. Are there any blades that can redeem the experience? Should I give Astras a shot?

  2. Merkur blades generally aren't recommended.
    If you can find them then Swedish Gillettes are always good, as well as Feathers (if you find them a bit rough then you can try a 7 O'Clock yellow or green).
    Blades are different for everyone though so YMMV. Astras are quite good too from what I've heard.
  3. One mans perfect blade is anothers bandsaw .. Theres so much personal preference your only real bet is to grab a sampler pack and try a few blades.

    I personally don't get on with Swedes despite them being a revered blade.
    My preference goes for Derby Extras.

    Its an ongoing question i think , i only ever used 2 of them myself.
    One to try , the second to make sure it wasn't just a bad blade.
  4. I highly recommend Astras too!..any blade will do well I think so long as youuse the Hand Stroping" technique from youtube...I heard some gents are going back to GEM1912's..I am waitin on getting 2 of em fromebay!..gettin some GEM blades for em too even though you can you DE blades with some light modifications to them..GEM's so as I have heard are an easier angle to use..less curving with DE's..will wait n see n update
  5. Any tips/advice on how to remedy serious irritation and razor burn?

    Your face is injured, Gatsby. You'll need to treat it as such. If you can go without shaving, then that's your move. In time, which means days to maybe weeks, your face will heal. If you have to shave in the meantime, the less trauma the better. That means one pass with an unaggressive blade, with the grain. Good luck, and don't give up on the DE.
  6. Give your face a rest from shaving. A couple of days will help.

    I've rubbed an ice cube on razor burn for relief. Worked for me.
  7. Thank you all for coming to the rescue.

    I'll stop shaving for a few days. I'm lucky that today is Friday; my face will have the weekend to heal.

    I'm tossing the pack of Merkurs in the garbage.
    I still have my Personnas, and I'll pick up some Astras in the next week of so.

    It's such a shame: I literally jump out of bed looking forward to my shave and those blasted Merkurs tainted this lovely ritual.
  8. Witch hazel, aloe, and time...(not "thyme"...I speak in the temporal sense)
  9. If you purchased US Personnas, I think they are the same as the Merkurs. It is possible you just a bad blade and switching to a fresh blade could solve the problem. Admittedly, after your experience, you may be a bit shy to try.

    I have used Merkurs and had good results. In the full disclosure here, I now use Derby's. Consistantly good blades.
  10. Thyme goes with parsley, sage, and rosemary (if you're going to Scarborough Fair). :tongue:
  11. Sorry to hear you had a bad shave today. Lots of good advice in these posts.

    Fortunately for me, I never got to my Merkur blades...just skipped passed them. I was thinking of PIF'ing them to other newbies but that would just be sadistic! :w00t:

    I settled on 7 O'Clock Yellows for quite a while. But I've been using Astra blades the past few days. They're nice - pretty darn close to the 7 O'Clock but loads cheaper!

    Good luck and don't be discouraged. Let us know how you're doing in a few days when you're back to shaving.

  12. IMHO, Derbys and Feathers are the obvious choices. I, too, was ready to quit DE because I couldn't get a good shave with the Merkurs. The Feathers and Derbys saved the day for me.
  13. God Bless the B&B gang.

    Thank you all for your advice.
    It's settled: I'm picking up some Astras and Feathers.
    I have tried Derbys, and I like them. They're smooth, but I do get a nick or two with them--whereas the Personnas leave me with no nicks of cuts.

    (As an aside: the Personnas I'm using are, what you could call, "Canada's Personnas". They are made by Personna Israel but sold under the name Precision).

    The shave and my chewed up face left me so angry that I just had to go to the gym and purge all this aggression. Needless to say I had a great workout.:001_smile

    Thank you for listening. In three or four days, I'll let you all know how the first shave goes.
  14. If you have a particularly bad shave and are not able to recover in one day, think about:

    1. Shaving WTG and ATG the next day (no ATG)
    2. Use a scentless, "sensitive" shave cream/soap
    3. Use better prep than you did the day before
    4. Use your least aggressive razor if yo have one
    5. Finish with cold water and an alcohol free balm

    You're shave won't be close, but it will help you recover for an excellent shave in one or two days.
  15. keep some proraso pre/post for days like these and don't worry. i say you ain't a man till you've sliced your face a couple of times. The aftershave is the fire that hardens the man like fire is to steel. astras n feathers are great.
  16. Aloe Vera Gel or juice from your local health store will ease the burn and help repair your skin after a bad shave. I swear by the stuff.
  17. @Moto: that's a great line. I'm currently using Nivea for Men Aftershave Balm. When I finish the bottle, I'll be shopping around for something with more kick.

    @pbroddi: thank you for the remedy. I'll give it a shot.

    A good night's sleep helped my face recover. The redness is gone, but my face is dry and stiff.
    I have some stubble, but I'll wait until Monday before I consider shaving.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2009
  18. +1

    I'll also add that an occasional cool water splash sometimes relieves the irritation for a bit, and use plenty of moisturizer (but not so much as to give yourself acne). When you get razor burn there's a good chance that along with it, too many layers of skin have been removed at one time and your skin will be working overtime to heal itself. Moisturizer can help accelerate this process.

    Whatever you do don't ditch the razor! It'll get better in time!
  19. For me the safest shave for dealing with razor burn (which is a rare event now thankfully) is a one pass shave with a Dorco blade, they are nice and smooth but not overly sharp. I use them in an aluminium handled tech, but really any nice light razor would do. Aside from that Proraso or Nivea after shave balm in copious amounts fixes anything within a few days.

    This was the setup I used after I encountered a bad Merkur blade a few months back although I have had good shaves with Merkurs as well, their consistency is to random for my tastes so I stopped using them.

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